What is the NHS Key Worker Mortgage Scheme?

The key worker mortgage scheme was a government scheme that was once available to all NHS workers. Unfortunately this product no longer exists.

However, you may be eligible for a discount mortgage rate from some lenders.  This depends on the role you’re employed to do within the NHS.

What Mortgage Discounts are available to NHS workers?

To receive one of the discount rates available to some national health service employees, you’ll need to find a lender offering this, as it’s fairly niche. A specialist mortgage broker  would be a good first point of contact.

It’s important to realise that the discount will not automatically apply to all NHS staff. Ordinarily, only those in clinical staff roles are entitled.

Am I Eligible for an NHS Mortgage Discount?

If you hold a clinical staff position within any of the following NHS trust organisations, you should be eligible for a specialist discount from some lenders.

  • NHS GP Surgeries
  • NHS Direct
  • Dental practices with NHS status
  • NHS Ambulance Trust
  • Mental Healthcare and Social Care Trusts
  • NHS Primary Care and other Care Trusts
  • The National Blood Transfusion Service
  • The Health Protection Agency

Unfortunately, medical, administrative and housekeeping staff are not usually eligible.

How much can NHS staff borrow?

As the amount you can borrow from mortgage lenders is determined by your income, rather than your job title, being a member of NHS staff is irrelevant to the mortgage calculation process. You are assessed on affordability and credit rating, much like any other applicant.

As a member of NHS clinical staff, your salary range is £20k and £45k. Your mortgage amount will be a multiple (usually 3-5 times) of your annual salary. Therefore, your offer will be between £61,608 and £204,579, depending on your staff level within the scale and your credit score.

Other schemes that may be beneficial to NHS staff

Help to Buy

The Help to Buy scheme is aimed at helping first time buyers get onto the property ladder, however, it is possible to use this if you’re already a homeowner in some circumstances. This scheme helps you to buy a new-build home up to the value of £250k (£450k in Greater London), with just 5% deposit.

It’s facilitated by a 20% government equity loan (40% in Greater London), which tops up your deposit to a total of 25%. This loan is interest-free for the first five years. This provides those on a lower income access to a wider variety of homes, given that they only require a mortgage loan of 75% of the property value.


Much like the Help to Buy scheme, NewBuy also only requires a 5% deposit. Here, however, you take a 95% NewBuy mortgage, which is charged at a lower than average interest rate. This option is also only available if you are buying a new build home, however.

Shared Ownership

The shared ownership scheme affords you the opportunity to purchase properties that you wouldn’t otherwise afford, by buying a share of between 25% and 75% instead of the entire property.

Buying a smaller percentage of the home has a lower deposit requirement and lower repayments on your mortgage, given that you are borrowing less. You should bear in mind, however,  that you’ll also need to make rental payments towards the share of the property that you don’t own.

Right to Buy

Local authority and housing association tenants are sometimes able to buy their rented home at a significant discount. If you have the chance to take advantage of this scheme, your monthly payments will be far more affordable, as will your deposit.

What NHS Mortgages are Available?

There are not currently any mortgage products specifically intended for NHS employees. Mortgages for NHS staff are largely the same as those available to any other applicant.

How Can A Mortgage Broker Help NHS Staff Find a Mortgage?

It’s advisable to use an authorised and regulated mortgage broker when you’re looking to buy a new home, especially if you’re a first time buyer. They provide personalised advice about the best mortgage deals, as well as having access to a range of specialist products not available on the high street. Benefits of using a broker include; saving time; money, stress and potentially, the disappointment of rejection.

We have specialist experience in helping NHS staff. We know which lenders offer discounts to NHS staff and help you to understand whether you meet the acceptance criteria.

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